This is by a pal of mine, J.C. McCormack. It's made of Adventurene, I don't know what Adventurene is, it's green but it's beautiful. And I got this cause J.C. is a pal of mine, and J.C. likes me not just because I'm a funny and interesting human being and one of the nicest people he knows, but because I'm a writer, and writers always have fascinating, interesting stories, and I love telling anecdotes about writers, particularly fantasy writers and science fiction writers, but you've got have somebody to talk to. So, I figured I would talk to my pal Ardath Bey, ha ha:
Ted Sturgeon used to, and he's a wonderful guy, but Ted had a habit of pretending to a kind of humility that he did not in fact possess. And when he would see someone reading something of his, he would walk up to them and do this routine on them, and say, "Ya know, why are you reading that kind of terrible stuff". And they would always "Oh no. This is wonderful. Haven't you ever heard of the great writer Theodore Sturgeon?"
So we're sitting at a bus station, we're sitting at a bus terminal at the counter, and I'm having a grilled cheese sandwich and Ted is having something, and a couple of other guys with us. And we see down at the other end on the counter is a guy sitting and reading "The Dreaming Jewels, " which was done on paperback as "The Synthetic Man," right? It was a terrific book. And this guy is sitting there and he's reading this thing, and Ted says, "Watch this." And Ted walks over to this guy and he says, "God, how can you read that awful trash?" And the guy says, "Yeah, you know, you're right." And he goes zip, and he flips it over his shoulder into a garbage can. Ted had **schpilkes**! Ted fell to the floor and immediately began to foam. It was a terrible thing to see.
Larry Niven. Larry Niven who've I known since he was a fan before he started publishing professionally. One night, he won at a WorldCon, I don't know what it was, either I had won a couple of Hugos... I guess it was the science fiction convention, the WorldCon, where I won a couple of Hugos. And for some reason or another, Larry had a hold of them. I don't know why, he was taking them somewhere, and he's in an elevator and a kid says, "Wow! Where did you get those?" And Larry says, "Harlan Ellison is giving away all his Hugos. All you have to do is go up and ask him, he'll give you one." I was deluged with lunatics coming up and demanding I give them my awards! I never forgave Niven for that, wanted to push him down an elevator shaft, didn't happen.
And the final story that I wanted to tell was about Bob Bloch. Dear, wonderful, sweet, dear, good Bob Bloch. Bob Bloch was at a roast, they did a roast on Bob, and everybody was standing up for hours just dissing him and ripping him up and down. And finally it came Bob's turn to respond, and Bob got up and he stepped to the dais in his elegant fashion that he had, and he stood there for a moment, and then he...removed his earplugs, and said, "I'm pleased to be here."
There are wonderful stories about science fiction writers. They are all a little demented, unlike me, they are a little crazy. I want to tell you about a new writer that if you don't know about, that you should know about. That's the way I want to tag off these anecdotes. Jack McDevitt. You gotta get Jack McDevitt's books. This is his latest one, Eternity Road. You've seen some of the others: The Engines of God, A Talent for War, Ancient Shores. They're terrific books, this is the new one. Jack McDevitt. He's as good as any of the other writers I've talked about on this show. See you next time.
From Sci-Fi Buzz, episode unknown
Publishing Rights to 'Harlan Ellison's Watching' copyright 1996 the Killimanjaro Corporation.